Predictably, Beto O’Rourke fairly sprinted down to his hometown of El Paso to blame Donald Trump for the city’s mass murders in the hope of reigniting the Texan’s failing presidential campaign. But if you read the gunman’s manifesto, you would find the murderer as much in agreement, possibly more so, with Elizabeth Warren and O’Rourke himself than with Trump. The shooter wants universal healthcare and a guaranteed income. He also wants to kill Mexicans and to partition the country into equal race-based sections, a kind of identity politics taken to the nth power, not that any of this matters. The man is clearly insane, as was the now-deceased Dayton killer who was reportedly a Democrat and a Satanist, planning on voting for Warren, as well as, of course, being mentally ill. (“I want socialism, and i’ll [sic] not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding,” the Dayton shooter tweeted.)
This is obviously not politics in any rational sense, although we are hearing endless political statements from pols anxious to exploit the tragedy. It’s about craziness. An epidemic is sweeping the country and has been for some time. Mass shootings are only one manifestation, although arguably the most horrible and extreme one.
It may not immediately seem to be so, but the expanding homeless populations all over the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle are another salient example. These people are hugely disturbed, unwilling to live in shelters, some quite well-equipped, that have been built for them. They prefer to live in tents more hospitable to their lifestyle that frequently involves drugs and to be left alone with their delusions while defecating on the sidewalks. Neighborhoods are being destroyed as a result.
And then there’s Antifa. Is running around in masked costumes smashing windows and beating people in the name of fighting “fascism” an example of sanity or derangement? Obviously the latter. Antifa is yet another tragedy waiting to happen. Their mirror images, white supremacist groups, are similar manifestations of severe emotional disturbance with obvious violent implications.
All these people and groups are connected by their high level of psychological disturbance. Their number is small, even tiny, compared to the total population, but our population is approaching a giant 330 million. If only one-tenth of one percent of that number is seriously disturbed, that’s 330,000 dangerous nut cases (excuse the non-clinical terminology) walking around in our country.
Because of the sclerotic politics that we all have been living with since we were born, most of the discussion this week will be focused on gun control. It will be largely symbolic and almost entirely irrelevant. Ban AR-15s or not, people who wish to wreak havoc will have no trouble getting the weapons to do it. We’ve already seen that in places like Chicago and Paris that have stringent gun laws, yet have seen catastrophic gun violence.
The real discussion should be about mental health, not weaponry, but the former is far more difficult to deal with. Indeed, it’s almost overwhelming. Ex post facto, almost all these mass murderers are easily classified as mentally ill, but only rarely are they interdicted in advance. Law enforcement agencies, school administrators and other authorities have been reluctant to take action to prevent the disturbed from acting out for fear of repercussions to themselves or simply out of lassitude. This is not only true for the potential shooters, but it also helps explain why nothing has been done about the tent cities turning our most beautiful cities into Third World cesspits. Or the government in Portland allowing Antifa to run rampant. No one wants to be an adult anymore.
We’re going to have to learn unless we want these events to be the new normal — or rather continue to be the new normal.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media — is a prize-winning author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. His new novel — THE GOAT — will be available for pre-order on Amazon later this week.